Julius Ochs Adler
Julius Ochs Adler’s Personal Narrative was derived from information found in public records, military personnel files, and local/state historical association materials. Please note that the Robb Centre never fully closes the book on our servicemembers; as new information becomes available, narratives will be updated to appropriately represent the life story of each veteran.
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Distinguished Service Cross
Citation: The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Major (Infantry) Julius Ochs Adler, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in action while serving with 306th Infantry Regiment, 77th Division, A.E.F., at St. Juvin, France, 14 October 1918. Accompanied by another officer, Major Adler was supervising the work of clearing the enemy from St. Juvin where they suddenly came upon a party of the enemy numbering 150. Firing on the enemy with his pistol, Major Adler ran toward the party, calling on them to surrender. His bravery and good marksmanship resulted in the capture of 50 Germans, and the remainder fled.
Croix de Guerre with Bronze Palm
Medaille Militaire 3R
Italian War Merit Cross
Life & Service
- Birth: 3 December 1892, Chattanooga, TN, United States
- Place of Residence: New York, NY, United States
- Race/Ethnicity: Jewish American
- Death: 3 October 1955 New York, NY, United States
- Branch: Army
- Military Rank: Major
- Infantry Regiment: 306th
- Division: 77th
Julius Ochs Adler was born to Harry Clay (1865-1940) and Ada Rachel Ochs (1866-1956) in Chattanooga, Tennessee, an only child. Adler was born into a large and prominent family; his maternal uncle, Adolph Simon Ochs (1858-1935) purchased the New York Times in 1896 and nurtured the company into eventual succession as one of the largest and most influential publications in the country (as Publisher, 1896-1935, and selector of his successor, son-in-law Arthur Hays Sulzberger and daughter Iphigene Ochs Sulzberger). Adler’s father, Harry Clay Adler, managed the Chattanooga Times, which his brother-in-law Adolph Ochs had purchased at the same time as the NYT.
Adler attended Baylor University School in Chattanooga, TN and Princeton University in Princeton, NJ, graduating in 1914, afterwards, working for the NYT as a journalist.
Adler joined the Preparedness Movement at Camp Plattsburgh, New York (Plattsburgh Movement) in March of 1917; by August, he was commissioned as 2nd Lt. (Cavalry) and promoted to Captain. Cpt Adler commanded and instructed officers of Co. 13, 2nd Plattsburg Officers Training Camp until December of 1917, when he became senior instructor of the 3rd Officers Training Camp at Camp Upton, New York.
Cpt Adler was assigned to Co. H, 306th Infantry Regiment, 77th Division in March of 1918; the Company left the United States aboard the U.S. Army Transport Ship Kashmir on 16 April 1918. The following is from Adler’s personal description of his service via his Jewish Serviceman Questionnaire,
“April-May 1918, Trained with British; June-July 1918, In line on Baccarat Front; August-Sept, In line along Velse and Aisne Advance; Sept. 26 1919, Battle of Argonne Forest, Relieved Oct 15 after 19 days of continuous fighting. Captured St. Juvin and Hill 182. Promoted to Major. Company at time of relief had 26 men remaining. Oct.- Sent to hospital. Nov.- Returned to unit along Meuse River, with 1st Bn. 306 Inf. From Nov. until discharged May 1919. Edited and compiled History of 77th Division (Div. Historian)”.
Adler received the Distinguished Service Cross, Croix de Guerre with Bronze Palm, Italian War Merit Cross and Medaille Militaire (of the 3rd Republic) for his actions on 14 October at St. Juvin, France;
“The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Major (Infantry) Julius Ochs Adler, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in action while serving with 306th Infantry Regiment, 77th Division, A.E.F., at St. Juvin, France, 14 October 1918. Accompanied by another officer, Major Adler was supervising the work of clearing the enemy from St. Juvin where they suddenly came upon a party of the enemy numbering 150. Firing on the enemy with his pistol, Major Adler ran toward the party, calling on them to surrender. His bravery and good marksmanship resulted in the capture of 50 Germans, and the remainder fled.” War Department, General Orders No. 44 (1919).
Soon afterwards, on 20 October, he was evacuated after being severely gassed. Captain Adler was promoted to Major on 20 November 1918.
Adler resumed his position at the NYT, and soon became Vice President and Treasurer; he also retained his position as Major in the United States Army Reserve. On 27 August 1922, Adler married Barbara Stettheimer (1903-1971, later known as Barbara Ochs Adler), daughter of prominent San Francisco-area textile merchant and businessman Walter Stettheimer. The couple (either together, or in their own right) became heavily involved in various social, civic, and philanthropic endeavors in New York, to name only a few, the Temple-Emanu-El, Jewish Board of Guardians (Jewish Board of Family and Child Services), New York City Defense Recreation Committee, and Lafayette Fellowship Foundation. The Adlers had three children, Julius Ochs, Jr. (1924-2003), Barbara Squire (1929-), and Nancy Jean (1931).
Into the 1930s and 40s, Adler served the NYT as General Manager and Vice President, while his cousin Iphigene Ochs’ (1892-1990) husband, Arthur Hays Sulzberger (1891-1968), took over the role of Publisher after the death of Adolph Ochs in 1935. Adler became President and Publisher of the Chattanooga Times upon the death of his father in 1940. At the start of World War II, Adler was reactivated in the U.S. Army and assigned to the 113th Infantry Regiment, 44th Division (briefly made Commanding Officer of the 57th Infantry Brigade, and Assistant Commanding General of the 4th Motorized Division); he was promoted to Brigadier General in 1941. He was transferred to the 6th Infantry Division and sent to the defense of Oahu, Hawaii before becoming active in the New Guinea Campaign. Brig Gen Adler was removed from active duty in 1944 when he was struck with a kidney condition; he was reverted to Inactive status on 17 November 1944.
Brig Gen (R) Adler toured Buchenwald Concentration Camp in April of 1945 at the request of then-General Dwight D. Eisenhower acting in a journalist role; he participated in a tour of the Pacific Theater upon the invitation of then-Secretary of the Navy James V. Forrestal in September of the same year. Adler was aboard a U.S. Naval vessel when the Japanese issued their formal surrender on 2 September 1945. Adler held the position of commanding general, 77th Division, from 1946-1948, and was promoted to Major General (USAR) on 24 January 1948.
Adler became ill in 1955 with cancer, and died, on 3 October in New York. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.
The Julius Ochs Adler Collection at the George S. Robb Centre
The Robb Centre is proud to announce the Julius Ochs Adler Collection, donated by the Adler Family in September 2021. A description and assortment of materials included in this collection will be updated soon.The Julius Ochs Adler Collection
New York Public Library Collection
Check out the New York Times Company Collection-Julius Ochs Adler Personal Papers at the New York Public Library.
The set is located in the Manuscripts and Archives Division:
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street, New York, NY 10018-2788
Brooke Russell Astor Reading Room, Third Floor, Room 328